“I feel that the Rolling Stones are going to continue playing; They’re going back on stage. What also happens is that they are playing better than ever. Just now the songs were learned! (laughs)”, says the band’s historic backup singer, Bernard Fowlerback to Buenos Aires to continue recording a tango album with an orchestra singing in English.
This artist, who accompanies the Stones since the late ’80shas just finished the Sixty Tour, for the 60 years of the band and, by the way, the first tour in which its drummer, Charlie Watts, who died in August 2021, is missing.
Bernard Fowler in the recording studio with tango musicians. Photo: Martin Bonetto.
Fowler, who is certainly part of the Stone family, noted that the band finished the tour with all the energy to continue.
“There were very hard moments, especially in the first concerts where Charlie’s absence became enormous. But from the first rehearsal with Steve Jordan on drums there was a spark; precisely that necessary spark for there to be enthusiasm and that was it. Without a doubt that Charlie himself chose Steve was a very good thing for everyone and, on the other hand, it was the best possible choice, as only Charlie could do, ”he added.
“Keith was shocked”
Bernard Fowler in Buenos Aires, where he often sang when he came with the Rolling Stones, on days off. Photo: Martin Bonetto
-How were those first concerts without Watts on drums?
-In the first rehearsal with Steve I really fell into the idea that I was never going to see Charlie again, or listen to him, or anything. It caused me a very deep feeling of pain. I remember the first concert without him, in Boston, Mick talked about Charlie and the 60 years together and in the middle of his speech his voice broke, something that had never happened to him in the more than 30 years that I have known him and with so many stories .
-How were Richards and Wood in those first shows?
Keith was shocked. From behind I saw him play and I realized everything that was happening to him; he was in real shock; Without a doubt, Keith was the closest to Charlie and that was clearly perceived by the way he moved on stage.
“It’s Bernard with tango orchestra”
Bernard Fowler at a stop of the recording, together with the arranger and bandoneonist Ramiro Boedo, and the guitarist Pilo Gómez. Photo: Martin Bonetto.
Fowler hinted that the Stones, far from falling into some sort of artistic depression over the absence of Watts, went out of their way to put on the best concerts, even as a way of paying tribute to the band’s legendary drummer.
“They are playing like never before. Just now the songs have been learned (he laughs) and the music is sounding fantastic”, added this artist who collaborated, precisely, on several albums by Charlie Watts in his jazz project, such as warm and tenderin which the singer performs standards accompanied by the drummer’s quintet, plus a string orchestra and from which he would have been inspired Argentine guitarist and producer Pilo Gómez to propose to Fowler the project of making a record of tangos in English.
“On one of the trips we went with Bernard to the La Ideal confectionery to listen to Color Tango, where my brothers Tito and Manuel play, and he liked what he heard. That was the first step in this project, which has matured for about five years,” said Gómez, who has lived in New York for 22 years.
With a couple of edited works, the most recent entitled Westwhere precisely Fowler sings, this Argentine decided to carry out this project and what he found in Buenos Aires was resounding support.
“The idea was to make a repertoire of what is called tango song, which has a very interesting harmonic structure. In Gardel’s last stage he had dedicated himself to making this type of compositions. Now, we had a very delicate repertoire selection process because not every lyric would look good when translating it into English, but we found twelve songs that turned out very well”, added the musician and producer.
The meeting with Fowler and Gómez is at the Camarón Brujo recording studio, in the Coghlan neighborhood. An orchestra of twelve musicians, under the direction of Ramiro Boedo, has just finished with two compositions: Any Y Count on meby Chico Novaro.
Bernard Fowler. Photo: Martin Bonetto.
“The album has three stages of recording. The first was in March (where they would have recorded When you are not, The day you love me, Happy and Realby Charly Garcia and Return). Under the direction and arrangements of Ramiro; we are doing the second stage, and in January we will record the four remaining songs. There is no rock, it is Bernard with a tango orchestra”, Gómez pointed out.
-Bernard, how do you feel doing tangos?
-Simply The Challenge. It is a real challenge.
-Did you listen to tango singers or did you prefer to let yourself be carried away by the melody to interpret them?
-I listened to various singers of this music, but no one touched me as much as Gardel. I guess I’m not very original…
-What resonates with you in emotional terms?
-Behind the tango music maybe something resounds from the blues but essentially, I listen to the soul balladists. Not R&B, but soul.
-Of the songs you are recording, could you include any in your own repertoire?
–The day you Love Me it’s tremendous. I could turn it into a soul ballad pretty quickly.
Both Gómez and Fowler, producers of this album, prefer to save the songs to achieve the necessary surprise at the time of its release, which would already have begun in 2023. However, the instrumental parts show an orchestra that sounds tight and with a tango swing. powerful.
The orchestra is made up of Ramiro Boero, Sofía Calvet, Nicolás Ledesma, Bruno Luedueña, Manu Quiroga, Lucía Kohan, Tito Gómez, Leonardo Abildgaard, Noelía Capucho, Manuel Popo Gómez, Xavier Gainche, Cristian Asato and Ayelén Pais.
Fowler, born in January 1960, in New York, has an important career as a singer. With the Rolling Stones he began in 1985 doing backing vocals on the Mick Jagger album, She’s The Bossthen proposed it to collaborate with voices in Steel Wheels (1989) and from then on he was not only a part of each of the Stones’ releases, but also of Keith Richard’s solo works with the X-Pensive Winos, as in Main Offenderin those of Ron Wood and in those of Charlie Watts.
He also recorded on two albums by pianist Herbie Hancock, Future Shock (1982) and sound system (1984); he participated in several Ryuchi Sakamoto albums; is also in ono box (1992), by Yoko Ono and even on Alice Cooper’s latest album, in Along Came a Spider (2008).
He has three solo albums, Friends With Privileges (2006), The Bura (2015) and Inside Outes (2019).
this monday live
This Monday night, at Vorterix, singer Bernard Fowler, backup singer of the Rolling Stones, will perform at 9 pm, accompanied by Fabián Quintiero, Pilo Gómez and guests. He will make themes of his albums Inside Outes YThe Bura and of course some Stones songs.
Information: Fowler and Friends, at 9 pm, at Vorterix, Alvarez Thomas 3455. Tickets. $4,000 for AllAccess.
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Reference from clarin www.clarin.com